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From the Archive: My favorite Raw Deal Deck… May 9, 2006

Posted by webofwebhead in CCG, Game Theory.

From time to time, I want to dip into the archive of forgotten decks and teams of yore, bask in the good old days, and maybe even examine the game theory behind what made a certain strategy tick. This week I'm flashing back a few years to the early days of the WWE Raw Deal CCG.  One of the new characters in the set was Edge, and he was one of my favorite characters at the time, so needless to say I built a deck around him.  It became a monster… First, a brief primer for thost that have never played the game.  Each player selects a wrestler card to be their avatar in the game, each wrestler had a set hand size, Superstar Rating (which determined who went first mostly), and special power, as well as a number of unique cards just for them.  The rest of the cards could be used by any player.  On your turn you played actions and attacks until your opponent successfully reversed you, then they started their turn.  Attacks knocked cards out of your deck, when your deck was empty, you lost the game. So I'm building an Edge deck, and his Special Power is that he gets to go first in the game, no matter what, AND that his starting hand size was double the opponents Superstar Value or 6, whichever was higher.  He also had special cards that could increase his hand size at the start of the game. Now, when you know you get to go first, you start thinking, if you are me, how much damage can I possibly due on the first turn.  I mean, you always are going first, defense is a secondary concern, right?  So I found another deck online that was built for Stone Cold Steve Austin, designed to have a shot at winning in the first couple of turns of the game.  The key was a combo of two specific cards, one that was "free" that allowed you to play the second card that made your attack harder to reverse.  And by harder, I mean impossible if you go first and your opponent doesn't have any resources yet to work with.  These cards were named Ego Boost and Jockeying for Position.  Together, the next time you used a Grapple attack it was basically impossible to reverse as long as your opponent hadn't played anything yet. So, using those two card and Grapple attacks to go with them as a base, the entire rest of the deck was composed of cards that let me draw more cards.  I mean, like every other card had the ability to let me draw 1 or more cards, sometimes up to 3 more.  I had no defenses, either I would win on the first turn, or I would lose eventually, there was no middle ground. A typical first turn went something like this…draw about 10 cards to start the game.  Use the "discard this card to draw a card" effects and the "each player can draw 3 card" effects until I had the combo in hand, then play the combo, then draw more cards, combo again, and again, playing bigger and bigger attacks, until the opponent was finished.  Not the most fun game for the opponent. I say typical, because against the right decks, this deck NEVER lost.  Let me repeat that…it NEVER lost a matchup it was setup to win.  Now this of course implies that there were matchups I wasn't setup to win.  There was one Reversal that could stop me as soon as I played the second action…a card called Just Bring It!  Luckily, this card was a "Face" card, only players that were playing the "good guys" could play it.  Since "Heel" (or bad guy) decks were a little more popular, and not every Face player was always going to play Just Bring It! (or always have it in hand), I had about a 55 – 60% chance of guaranteed wins against the field. This deck's heyday was rather short…the very next expansion released a key card that was meant to counter just this sort of abuse that anyone could use, but while it lasted, it was a fun ride.  I never saw anyone else play the deck, and once it was finalized, it never needed to be tested, which is such a rarity.  But it was that consistent…it was almost scary, and really, though it was a little bit of a charge for me, it was certainly not much fun to play against if you were on the losing end of it.  This "un-fun"-ness is something I think most games try to avoid, or make increasingly rare, like the lay down loner in trumps (eucher), as it proves that interaction is the key to any game played between two or more players.  The fact that the most interaction that this deck provided was to have the opponent continually turn over cards from the top of their deck into their discard pile, well, you get the idea. – B



1. James - May 18, 2006

Hey do you have a decklist for this? Ive been trying to build an edge deck but im a lil new to the game and trying to find decklists online is hell.

2. webofwebhead - May 18, 2006

Hi James. I can’t seem to find it either, I know it was posted on Team Canada’s site, but they don’t appear to have a deck archive anymore.

In any case, with Fortitude Surge out there, I’m not sure the deck would function properly anymore, and as I mention, Just Bring It! worked a little too well against it as well.

I would probably rebuild it today as a more standard deck, but still going for the big first turn, perhaps using Stagger to follow up the initial attack and going from there.

3. Wwe Divas - September 30, 2006

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Interesting post. I came across this blog by accident, but it was a good accident. I have now bookmarked your blog for future use. Best wishes. WWE Divas Website Team.

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